6th in a 13 part series introducing the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023
By Bill Plott
Montgomery, AL – Timothy Ira Miller has set the gold standard in coaching girls’ high school basketball in Alabama. He is the only coach to win state championships at three different schools, the only coach to guide his teams to six consecutive state championships, and he is the only girls’ basketball coach in AHSAA history to coach 10 state championship teams.
Oh yes, his team at Hazel Green High School also set the AHSAA state record for consecutive wins (87) – a record the Lady Trojans set this past season while also becoming the first school in AHSAA history to win six state titles in a row – boys or girls.
Miller is one of 13 individuals who will be inducted as the Class of 2023 in the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will be Monday, March 13, at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m.
A press conference will be held at the Renaissance at 1:15 p.m., on Monday introducing the Class of 2023 to the media. The Hall of Fame is a program developed and managed by the AHSAA’s Alabama High School High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). This year’s class will be the 23rd class inducted since the HOF inception in 1991.
Miller coached Hazel Green to a 36-1 record in 2022-23, which concluded last week with a 53-40 victory over Huffman High School at the BJCC Legacy Arena in the 101st AHSAA State Basketball Championships.
A native of Montgomery, Miller was graduated from Jefferson Davis High School in 1989 and the University of Alabama in 1993 with a degree in human performance. He began his teaching and coaching career at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa where he was junior high coach for seven years, compiling a record of 128-9, a winning rate of 93.4%. As a high school varsity coach, his record in 23 seasons as a head coach is 720-99 – an 87.9% winning percentage – which is also the best in the AHSAA for coaches with 700 or more wins.
In 1998 he returned to his alma mater, Jeff Davis. He coached the boys’ junior varsity team in 1998 and the girls’ varsity basketball team from 1999-2007. His teams won seven consecutive area championships and advanced to the state tourney four times. The Lady Vols won the state championship in 2006 and also had two Elite 8 appearances.
Six of his seven teams won 27 or more games. Coach Miller had 10 All State players at Jeff Davis. His record was 198-41.
He moved to Madison’s Bob Jones High School in 2007, where he coached the girls’ basketball team to four Final Four appearances in five seasons. His teams won the state championship in 2008, 2009 and 2011. The Lady Patriots were runner-up in 2012. All five of his teams won more than 30 games each year. His record at Bob Jones was 167-18 with 12 All State players.
He left high school coaching 2012-13, accepting a position as assistant coach at the University of Alabama under Head Coach Wendell Hudson. He returned to high school coaching the next year – taking over the girls’ program at Hazel Green High School in northern Madison County. Over the last 10 years, his teams have won six state championships and two runner-up finishes. The Lady Trojans have reached the Final Four all 10 years – competing in 6A for eight of those years and in 7A for two.
The 2022 championship team finished with a perfect 35-0 record. His 2023 team finished 36-1 – the eighth consecutive Hazel Green team with 32 or more wins.
Miller was named MaxPreps National Coach of the Year, the first Alabama coach to win that honor. Coach Miller’s record at Hazel Green 333-26 (2.6%) with 18 All State players.
He has attributed his success at Hazel Green to a sense of community with his players and their parents. He told reporter Mike Perrin of al.com, “It’s really about togetherness with this group,” he said. “They are friends on and off the court, and they don’t care about points or the score, they just want to win the game.
“The relationship we have is not only with the players, but with the parents. The parents really buy in and allow me to coach the kids the way I like to coach them. That goes a long way, especially these days.”
Darrell Long, director of athletics for Madison County Schools, has known Miller for the last 30 years. “I had the pleasure of hiring him as the head girls’ basketball coach at Hazel Green High School,” he said. “Coach Miller is a true professional and ambassador for girls’ basketball and high school athletics. Coach Miller is currently the best high school girls’ coach in the state of Alabama and will probably go down in history as one of the best of all time.
“Coach Miller genuinely cares about kids and does things the right way by working hard and modeling discipline for his players and parents.”